American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Study of the Permeability of Foam Conditioned Soils with Laboratory Tests

Luca Borio and Daniele Peila

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2010.365.370

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 4

Pages 365-370


Problem statement: EPB tunneling requires that the excavated soil has a plastic and pulpy behavior to be able to apply a stabilizing pressure to the face, but it should also be impervious to counteract filtration forces that could develop ahead of the face. The evaluation of this parameter in granular soil, before and after conditioning, is therefore of key importance for a correct conditioning agents choice. Approach: A new laboratory procedure for testing the permeability of conditioned soil with foam has been proposed. The tests have been carried out at different hydraulic loads, chosen to be 0.1 bars and 1 bar. Results: The proposed procedure has been applied to determine the behavior of differently conditioned granular soils: a fluvial sand and a pozzolanic soil and has shown that an increasing of the FIR induces a relative increase in the time required by water to pass through a standard sample, emphasizing, in this way, the effectiveness of the conditioning on impermeability of the soil. Conclusion: The tests have shown the laboratory procedure adequately captures the behavior of the conditioned soil. Further, the proposed test may also be used as an index for the preliminary definition of the quality of the soil conditioning and suitability for EPB tunneling.


© 2010 Luca Borio and Daniele Peila. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.